Kitchener elementary school marks first year
A new elementary school in Kitchener is commemorating its first full school year open.
The Waterloo Region District School Board opened Oak Creek Public School in September and marked its grand opening with a special ceremony on Thursday.
"The first school year is always one of such tremendous excitement,” said Evelyn Giannopoulos, superintendent of Oak Creek Public School. "We are really pleased with the success so far."
School officials said they chose the grand opening date of June 1 to coincide with the kickoff of Pride month and National Indigenous History Month.
The ceremony included musical performances and students from each classroom contributed something to a time capsule, which staff said they plan to reopen in 25 years.
There was also a key dedication, where facility and project managers symbolically handed the school over to the students.
“The children are why we exist, the children are our future,” Giannopoulos explained. “This key symbolizes an opportunity for them to unlock their true potential, and their dreams and pathways to their futures."
The school’s principal, Jeff Johnson, said the school had a number of special features installed that have been tools for learning and inclusion over the past nine months.
“We have flow happening within our classrooms, there's lots of movement within the space," said Johnson.
There are student-height white boards as well as desks that can be raised and lowered.
“Not having a front of a classroom, not having a teacher's desk, it's very much about learning as a process. It's not about the stand and deliver model or sitting in desks in rows,” said Johnson. “That has stayed the course and it has been very positive and very great to see."
The building, located on Tartan Avenue, is over 80,000 square feet and includes childcare space used by Rising Oaks Early Learning and EarlyON Child and Family Centres.